Monday 1 November 2010

Vanuatu makes Lonely Planet's "Top 10 countries in the world for 2011" list

Vanuatu has been ranked sixth on the Lonely Planet's list of the Top Ten Countries 2011 in the eagerly-awaited annual publication titled Best in Travel 2011, announced today.

Lonely Planet's Asia-Pacific travel editor Shawn Low says that Vanuatu made the list for its unrivalled authentic cultural experiences.

"Best in Travel 2011 is all about providing a year's worth of inspiration to take travellers out of the ordinary and into some unforgettable experiences.  Vanuatu really delivers when it comes to interesting things to do."

Authentic cultural and nature based experiences propelled Vanuatu into the top 10 list, with Vanuatu's strong living traditions, festivals, active volcanoes, 'thunderous waterfalls' and 'remote villages' highlighted as part of the appeal.

Vanuatu Tourism Office general manager Annie Niatu says the announcement shows that Vanuatu is so much more than a relaxing island destination.

"The Lonely Planet recognition gets to the core of what Vanuatu can offer visitors, a unique and authentic experience and as Lonely Planet states a 'mystic vibe' that comes from culture and traditions that are still very much alive," said Annie.

"Travellers are often drawn to Vanuatu by a vision of white sandy beaches and with 83 idyllic islands, Vanuatu has its fair share of waterfront but there are also really inspiring cultural experiences that are relatively untapped.

"Some lucky travellers are starting to realise that Vanuatu is much more than just a beautiful beachside destination. There is a huge amount to do here, abseil down waterfalls, sand board down volcanos, see traditions of an ancient culture, take a jungle trek and so much more."

A new campaign recently launched by Vanuatu Tourism communicates this exact appeal, taking a deliberate move away from traditional images of picture perfect white sandy beaches and focusing on soft adventure and authentic imagery to differentiate the country from its South Pacific Neighbours.

Best in Travel's recommendations are drawn from hundreds of ideas submitted by Lonely Planet's staff, authors and community of travellers, bloggers and tweeters. Their suggestions are then refined by a panel of Lonely Planet's in-house experts.

To view the new look website, visit

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